calligraphy, desert landscapes, odd animal portraits


Great Amerivan Eclipse

Drove the van up the coast to see the Steve’s birthday eclipse.  Starting with dinner at the Samoa Cookhouse, and camping at Emerald Forest, we broke 80K on the odometer in Bandon, Oregon, just short of 500 miles out.   Up the dunes and Florence to my sister’s house, Totality from her traffic-free back patio in Willamina, Oregon.  Up to Hammond to visit my cousin, then started back on 8/24, camping down the coast and home to a rat invasion on August 31.


Possum cakes

Art has a fondness for buying me cakes, particularly after I told him about Birthday Month, which begins a month before your birthday and ends a month after your birthday.  For me, this means cakes can appear anytime from approximately April 4 to June 4.  I am sorry I didn’t get a photograph of the first Possum cake, which had a rather hideous large gray rat-looking creature made of frosting.  Delicious, nonetheless.

From then on, just lettering.  Also, the 13th Anniversary of the Polka Cowboys at the same venue.

For Art’s 73rd birthday I made a large sheet cake and with the help of a hand-drawn chart laid out the candles, with a gardenia in the center.  It took four people to light the candles, and Art, Missy and Ed blew them out before I could get a photograph, or burn the building down.


May 20, 2015–random birthday cake


October 23, 2015, my return from Seattle

Last Birthday cake, June 5

June 5, 2015- last call


May 31, 2017–cakemeister


Jan 26, 2017

Pinnacles overnight

April 2017–I packed for the cold, wet rain, but this morning it is fresh, clear and sunny, about 60 degrees by the backyard thermometer.  Extra leggings, socks, fleece, down jacket for the cold overnight.  The first day we hiked the East side of the Pinnacles, where the campground is, site #65.  Two caves, scary piles of huge boulders (earthquake zone) and waterfalls!  I brought chili fixins, mostly made.  I cooked it up on S’s stove and Art did his tortilla magic on his camp stove.

In the morning I got hurried out of my not-yet-awake complacency.  Our hiking companion was packed and ready to go when I was just up and making coffee; knocked my bag and bed-roll over spilling Art’s raisin bran to the ground.  Then, instead of sitting with my coffee and cereal and having a civilized morning repast, I rushed to pack up the stove and pot and spilled half the coffee on the table and bench.  No real harm done–while Art packed up the tent I wandered off to decompress by the creek.  Bonus, vanilla cappuccinos at the Supermercado in Hollister.

Discoveries:  S. does not drink coffee;  1/2 the little jar is plenty for an overnight trip;  the green and yellow percolator works great;  S. smokes cigarets.  Art does not want help with the tent.  S rushes ahead, Art likes to wander and dawdle.  I am somewhere in between.  I love sitting in the car reading and writing, somewhat sad to Arrive anywhere.

I had a lens malfunction on Steve’s Canon–it is a signature, it is what I do.  I switched out the batteries to see if  it would reset–my iPhone battery is dead because I used it for light in the caves, as my flashlight was left in the tent–so no photographs today.  The West entrance, perfect hiking weather and high puffy clouds.

What an amazing place!  Pinnacles!  So happy I came, so happy I brought so many comforts and necessaries.  I don’t think we felt a drop of rain after we got into the park.

The trees are oxygenating, the sky is clear, the air cool.  Everything is Green, with tiny flowers, and several species of TINY butterflies—a black and white!  a checkerspot or fritillary, an off-white but similar to a blue.  Not skippers, but that small.

Soledad, mucho comida, 3 PM and homeward.

Joshua Tree and Anza Borrego

Wonderful spring wildflower trip in the Westfalia with Art, and art supplies.


2016 year end review

A quick delightful spurt of journaling with pens, watercolors and lovely sketch paper quickly gave way to incessant journaling.  I spent a lot of time coloring and painting highlights and entries, but really, non-verbal art-making is just elusive.  The Year To Clear What Is Holding You Back has not resulted in very much being revealed as I had hoped– but I am still 45 or so days away from the end, or re-start.

Here are some scribblings from Mid-August.

I signed up for three online watercolor and acrylic painting courses, and was following a couple of art blogs that inspired these three images, executed from the safety and warmth of my custom-made semi-loft bed.  In November I began a new journal which I have lost somehow, and in the missing journal there are some pages of color mixing, using a split palette of warm and cool primaries.  This is very fun and has refreshed my excitement about using color–Pantone 15-0343 Greenery is the color for 2017.

I play in three different bands a minimum of three days a week, one of which is on the Mondays I used to reserve for painting and drawing.  Also, I am on facebook pissing away two or three hours a day, and had spent a lot of what could be creative time shopping for jewelry on Etsy.  I am pretty much sated with that now.  Also there are still six gardening jobs that get me out of the house a few days here and there for creative and exercise purposes. Also, I have plans to engage with my friend and neighbor Jean W. for some arting and tea.

The studio on Howe Street has issues that hold me back from utilizing it: barking dogs, bad air, no insulation (too hot/cold) 2-hour parking restriction, interruptions from the homeowner, who is a dear friend and likes to chat, and for now, the immobility of the rolling door over the cracked and lifting concrete floor that makes it nearly impossible to get in and out.  The fact that it is within walking distance somehow doesn’t  register.  I have begun clearing there, and brought in some electrical cords and tools that will focus me more on things I cannot do at home.  With the new year and returning light I will be going there at least on Fridays, after my weekly trip to my Oakland job.  


Clearing in the Studio

Eight months ago, I began almost exclusively using my brother’s laptop, a mac book Pro.  I never used it for blogging, and I am not sure why not.  I don’t know the password  .  .  .  haven’t even tried.  Since this computer has a no-longer-supported operating system that I am loathe to change, for the most part I have kept it offline.

Nov 2016 studio.jpg

still needs some sorting here

watercolor mix 5.17

mixing split primaries with watercolors


In January I began an online course, now on Day 143 of A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back, and have been emptying out my storage under the house, the crawl space, and the stuff from the shed that we tore down at the exact wrong moment–there were a couple cease and desist and emergency clean-up letters from the landlord’s lawyer, and Paul B, Ann and Art came and helped me clean up the yard–there is now a pile of wood debris that has been settling on the property line since mid-April, with no indication that it will ever be taken away, unless I do it.

mixing green 4.17

mixing watercolor greens

I have a long list of stuff I have gotten rid of–I have made huge changes in my life-.  A lot of big change in what I am now calling the studio- the rat-shit-garage framing shop, much cleaned, and updated.  Art helped rearrange the tables and I brought in my red rug,  gradually moving most of my art supplies from home. I have adjusted my view, spending more time there than when I thought of it as the Frame Shop, and the stink and dust was so bad.

re studio

May 2016, more spacious after moving tables

studio rug

June 2016, a little paint, a rug over the cracked floor

3 years

Since I lost Steve, sold the shop–and moved my stuff here.  Is that what it’s about?

Just did a big redo of the “Frame Shop”, or whatever it was.   That dog never did hunt.  Now it is a space, a few blocks from home, that I dedicate to leisure and puttering, but still had been avoiding  .  .  .  .  why?  Hunkering like a recluse in my little bed-sit. Never mind.

Jude wanted her stuff up front, so Art and I moved a big sideboard and some other heavy things. I was conscious of all her paint cans and milk crates of mysterious old stuff from previous people who used the space crammed in the corners and under the bench.

I have done some rearranging, finding projects and materials that just may come together in this little sunny space.  The #1 change is my approach, experiencing process as it unfolds, instead of judging it, with trepidation, in advance.  This may be at the root of my lack of “output”.  There has been an avoidance of adding more “stuff” to my cluttered life, but in shutting down two storage spaces and giving almost everything away, I have come across enough unfinished panels and canvases, and unused materials, that I could paint for months without adding a molecule to the pile of stuff I have already.  The plan is to transform the garage into my Painting Studio.

green bird painting

Green Bird-  acrylic on panel 2003